Monday, December 31, 2007




28th December 2007: my first b’day away from my family and honestly I don’t know how to describe it…
I have heard horror stories about the numerous occasions where the b’day boy (these kinds of wild and uncivil acts of hooliganism are usually predominant in the boys’ hostel) was suspended in air and hit by all and sundry (kicks, chappals, shoes… you name it, you got it), inundated with all sorts of garbage- eggs, shampoos, shaving cream, toothpaste and of course the yummy chocolate cake smeared all over! The girls were comparatively better and kinder: in the 6 months in my B-school life, we have celebrated a number of birthdays on the stroke of midnight, but it’s been all candles and cards and cakes- a far cry from what happens in D-hostel! So I waited for my b’day with part excitement and part anxiety….
The Cinderella story began a few minutes before midnight as phone calls started pouring in and as the tradition goes, my room mates guided me to someone else’s room where the cake was waiting for me in all its glory! I pretended to b surprised and was relieved: so far so good! However, I had barely managed to put the knife on the cake when I was suddenly attacked from behind with toothpaste smeared all over my face and hair. Before I could recover, I found myself drenched to the skin as buckets of water were hurled on to me… and then I saw the tempting dark chocolate disappear in front of my eyes, most of which was now on my face and hair. The combined taste of water, toothpaste and cake made it a bitter pill. I started to run for dear life and disappeared into the bathroom, my clothes all spoilt and smeared with the paste. As I found solace under the shower with my ears glued to the phone, I decided that it was the safest place on a birthday! It was Shrijit’s b’day as well, and he got a much worse treatment than I did! At times I thank god that I am not a guy.
The next day was pretty much the same routine with lectures through the day punctuated with phone calls and wishes. At times like these, you realize how many people care about you and how precious life really is. Obviously, Shrijit prefers to look at it in the most pessimistic way: “Birthdays just celebrate another year of NOT DYING!” The most precious gift was a card by my friends who all scribbled little messages on it which I am going to treasure forever. As the day came to an end, and I was almost asleep, I got the last surprise when my Corpcom team members dragged me out of the bed downstairs for the 2nd cake cutting ceremony: action replay of the previous night!
So my b’day began in the bathroom and ended the same way! But I really enjoyed the most “painfully amazing” b’day ever!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Salsa @ SCMHRD!

A 5-day salsa workshop was the latest “cool” thing at SCMHRD… apart from the lure of learning a couple of neat tricks on the dance floor, it had its other advantages: for the couples in campus, it was an opportunity to strengthen the bond, literally… for the potential couples, it was an excuse to be together, and for the single-and-ready-to-mingle, it was another desperate attempt to find that elusive “partner”. And for most, it was just another way to try a new thing and spend more time with friends. As for me, well, I kind of balked at the idea at first… it was a romantic, intimate form of dance and I am not exactly a Shakira clone! I had learnt Bharatnatyam for nine years, and I badly wanted to explore the other end of the spectrum. So I reasoned with myself: what the heck, these couple of years at B-school are probably my last chance to make a complete fool of myself, do what I wanted without caring too much about being politically correct, and I intended to make full use of it! So the next five days would find me on the dance floor for one hour after lectures, trying to find my rhythm! It seemed a herculean task to co-ordinate my feet, hips and hands with those of my partner as I marveled the instructor’s flawless smooth movements… some people are just born without bones!! I am still waiting for the snaps to find out exactly how clumsy I looked!
At the end of the 5 days, I certainly found myself more comfortable with my own body, less inhibited and of course, 500 bucks poorer! But it was a worthwhile and enjoyable experience: just one more aspect of “holistic development” in a B-school….

Saturday, December 1, 2007

NEEV 2007- The writing on the wall

Do you stand up for your views, do you fight for your beliefs, do you follow your dreams passionately, do you take the road less traveled? Or do you simply follow the crowd? Do you lead by example or are you comfortable being led? Are you a revolutionary or do you conform to clichés? Do you have the Courage, Conviction, and the Confidence to unbelong? These are few of the questions that will be answered at NEEV 2007, SCMHRD’s flagship event, as students from top B-schools in the country and in Asia Pacific get ready to defy their primitive urges to give in to collective mediocrity, as they let themselves go, embrace the freedom and bask in the glory of creativity! Come 15th of December, and we will witness the unfolding of one of the biggest B-school events in the country. With “The Cult” as this year’s theme, we are all set to venture beyond barriers…

For all of you ambitious, competitive souls out there, there is a lot on your plate: if you are the kind who thrives under pressure, is passionate about winning and loves the colour of money, NEEV 2007 is the place to be!! With big brand names and wider pockets, the events promise a mammoth pot of gold at the end of the quest: so throw up the challenge and be ready to be challenged! This is your golden opportunity to make your lifelong fantasy come true, to rule over others, to be the all (mighty) Augustus… Unleash your original ideas and articulate your innovations in the classic B-plan game, Tantra. Reveal the sensitive business (wo)man in you in Shango: the CSR game. And for all the hardcore finance guys, count your chickens before they are hatched- “break away” from conventional investment options, strike the deal with a “Dionysus Kill” and speculate away to glory!

So be a part of this rollercoaster journey with a common destination, rise to the occasion, sing the song of revolution, venture into the unexplored territories, discover those hidden talents and fulfill those secret desires…
“The foundation shall never break
the ‘NEEV’ shall make a new promise
the promise of hope
the promise of being a “CULT”…

Thursday, November 29, 2007


1. I suck at modern technology...
2. I hate Operations Research and everything related to it (including faculty)
3. I hate talking to most people...
4. I hate most Bollywood movies...
5. I have a big ego...
6. I have an attitude problem...(well you have a perception problem)
7. I am usually indifferent...
8. I hate social activities, parties, orkut but I still conform...
9. I hate animation... until Shrek changed my views
10. and finally... I think MBA is over-rated and am in it for the money and may be the "holistic experience" but definitely not for the knwledge!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Liberal but not liberated!!

The trouble with me is that I crib too much…. When I was in college, I couldn’t wait to start working, then when I did start working, I couldn’t wait to go back to college, and now that I am in a B-school, I can’t wait to go back to work! I guess it’s a normal human psychology: the grass is always greener on the other side!
I come from a run-of-the-mill, middle class Bengali family; over- protected and a little spoilt in the early years, but then my parents were liberal enough to let me live my own life and make my own choices. So when I moved out of home as a teenager, wide-eyed and overawed by the fast and furious life in the fast lane in the city that never sleeps, I was full of new dreams and new promises: I was free, and yet, somehow it was harder to be free from myself- my ingrained middle-class inhibitions, my sense of right and wrong and my idea of “acceptable norms”. I continued to be chained by my narrow world, where everything was black and white; so even when I saw my peers live in the moment and enjoy their new found freedom, I still remained the shy kid with clearly defined boundaries and goals which I chose to call “FOCUS”! Then came a time, when I stepped out of my well guarded pupa, embarked on a journey of self-discovery, I was liberal, but not yet liberated- on one hand, I had the time of my life, and on the other, I was torn apart by the apparent inconsistency!
Today, as I look at myself as a bemused spectator, I have learnt to accept everything as a shade of gray, I have altogether renounced the idea of absolute right and wrong, I no longer have rigid principles but I am true to my values… but I still continue to be the little girl struggling to enjoy the freedom which is handed to her on a platter!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

And we are back... unfortunately!!

Well, break ke baad aapki swagat hai… people have been cribbing that after 5 months of unkind criticism and ridicule, my Hindi was starting to become palatable but one week away at home has brought me back to square one!! Kids can be so cruel…

Diwali came and went before we could say Jack Robinson, and that in that one week I tried to cram in all sorts of pleasurable activities that we don’t get to do in college: sleeping, watching TV, meeting nice people (friends and relatives) and eating good food. Add to it the usual paraphernalia of the Celebration Season and India-Pakistan matches, you have the perfect recipe of FUN! Wondering if we can add a new core subject called Fun(d) Management in our course… we already have some 20 odd subjects in the second semester, one more won’t make much of a difference! Talking about second semester, well, the less said the better! We have already had a quiz within 24 hours of our arrival, and that too at 7 am. And it only promises to get worse…

I never could understand Physics in school. But now I think I got what that old man was trying to say when he made such a hue and cry about “Theory of Relativity”- the exam week seemed to drag on and on as we counted each minute of the agony, but the vacation week just flew past us.

At least now I appreciate Einstein’s statement: “Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That's relativity.”

Friday, November 2, 2007

First Impressions!!

I have survived (just about) the first sememster in a b-school... with 3 more to go, it doesn't seem to be a bright prospect! i thought that first sem was all about taking baby steps into reality, coming out of our cocoon and leave your half-baked, naive ideas behind and get into the mode of "structured thinking" as they call it! well it was sooo much more than that! From Kotler to OSHE, we have been exposed to a plethora of gyaan! We have been charmed by Prantosh and lured into the world of core concepts, STP and the famous 4 Ps of marketing; technologically challenged people like me struggled to make sense of ERP, data analysis, excel vba and flash (when you think about it, computers can be a real pain in life!); thrived in the agony and ecstasy of WAC assignments; been driven crazy by OB theories and made a mess of Maslow, Herzberg, Freud and the rest of the psycopathic gang; scratched our heads trying to find out why the balance sheets never tally; suffered from post OR depression and given up royally- LPP, Inventory Theory and Regression: u must be kidding me; were united in collective desperation in trying to figure out the mystery behind statistics; pfaffed our way through HR; spent hours over group projects, ice creams and last minute innovations; and covered for each other in non-acads! the past three months have changed us in many ways: for the people who were staying way from home for the first time, it meant a watershed moment in their lives. For seasoned hostelites like me used to bad food, inane curfews, and frustrated wardens, it was a taste of familiarity and reliving those stolen moments of midnite b'day bashes, watching FRIENDS late at nite, gossipping in the early hours of morning, getting late for lectures, fighting for the bathroom and sharing each others' deepest , darkest and silliest secrets. B-school education is often hyped for its holistic appeal, about its breadth but I never imagined that it would make such a sweeping transformation in our lives in such a short span of time, as we slept through the guest lectures and romped home with plumb offers during the placement week. Now after 4 months of herculean struggle, we have managed to survive the first semester and as we rush home to celebrate Diwali with our respective families, we also prepare ourselves for the 2nd sem- allegedly the toughest in the B-school life cycle!
So long... let's take a short break from the Symbiosis family!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


The last week has been a crazy rollercoaster ride of uncertainty, anxiety and euphoria that is a part and parcel of every B-school: it was time for the eternal saga called the “placement week”! If you thought MBA entrance exams were competitive, think again! It’s a jungle out there and it doesn’t get any worse than it did in the last few days…
The best of friends, room mates and study partners were suddenly pitted against each other in a vicious onslaught- with every passing GD, the battle just got tougher as we all vied for the top brands and the best profiles. You name the company, we had them on campus trying to snap up the best talent! In a stiff competition where every round is an elimination stage and one small mistake meant that you were out of your dream organization, we got the taste of the real dog-eat-dog world out there. As each shortlist was announced it brought about whoops of joy among the successful candidates and moved the rest to tears- the pain of rejection was never so acute as it was in these days! Somehow we all lost our sense of proportion; we forgot that it was only 2 months of summer internship and not the end of a journey; that there were more important things in life than a project which will eventually end up as a passing reference in our CVs! Granted it was the first stepping stone to the corporate world for most of the students- freshers (mostly toppers) from top colleges who had always had it easy! I can’t even imagine how much worse it can get during the final placements- not a pretty picture! But at the end of the day, a majority of the batch was placed and the remaining were sure to be placed in the next couple of days, and thankfully we all came back to our senses, as we celebrated (mostly in relief) our collective success- peace restored and sanity regained!

As for me, I was more of a bemused spectator in this mad mad world- unlike many of the brilliant people here, I have a relatively humble background, I am used to rejections and I was mentally prepared to be one of the last students to be placed…as it is, being a Finance student, we were warned that we would have a tough time! Also, I don’t have an exactly glittering record of conversions in GDs, so I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular! But as luck would have it, I became one of the first students to be placed in a dream company- Deloitte Consultancy, one of the top 4 consultancy firms in the world, and also the highest paid! I couldn’t believe anybody would be as stupid as to pay me such obscene amount of money for 2 months! But there you go, now I come with the Symbiosis tagline, though I am as smart (or as dumb) as I was three months ago. Having said that, it was my dream profile and I deserved to get through: the selection criteria was tailor made for me: 18-page written case analysis, two rounds of interviews (one of which involved a random case study with no data) but no GD! It happened well before the placement week, so I was practically free during the week itself. But I think I was very lucky and I am deeply thankful- I am not exceptional, nor am I any better than most of my batchmates: I just happened to get the right break at the right time! And probably I was sensible enough to know that while it was important, it was just a small part of my life…

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Barbarians at the Gate!

It’s been a week since India was crowned the first ever Twenty-20 world champions: a welcome deviation which almost healed the pain of the 1st-round exit in the World Cup earlier in the year. Indian sports isn’t exactly as flourishing as the Indian economy and Indian cricket in particular has received its share of brickbats! So is this flash-in-the-pan victory in the Indian version of baseball enough to win back the huge fan following that cricket attracted not too long back? Granted, we played really well during the tournament and beat the best in the game- Australia, South Africa, England and arch rivals Pakistan (twice), and deserved to be the champions. For a first-time event, the T20 world cup generated huge amount of interest, not to mention revenues. And following our victory, the market value of the budding cricketers has touched a new high. But somehow T20 just doesn’t seem like cricket- it smacks of refined commerialisation, a gimmick to get through to the masses repeatedly let down by its national side and a quick-fix solution to a more deep rooted problem! Mind you, I am no purist mourning the near extinction of the classical version of the game- good old Test cricket. Come on, we are leading the life in the fast lane, we barely have time to catch a few glimpses of the 50-over ODI, let alone a 5-day event which will probably end in a draw! Twenty-20 gives us a packaged deal: instant gratification, brute force, adrenaline rush and it is the closest we can ever come to competing with football. It’s value for our time and money, and nobody is complaining, so what if the greatest masters of the game opt out of it- it gives a platform to the raw talent (literally)! Say goodbye to the gentleman’s game to be played in the leisure of the afternoon sun in the lush green outfields: “Times they are Changing” and it’s time for the “Barbarians at the Gate”!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Grounded for Life!!!

I think our institute is taking itself too seriously and that too, literally! I mean I know we study at Symbiosis, and hence we are supposed to be in close contact with the industry (symbiotic relationship with the corporate sector: it’s elementary, my dear Watson)… but when the industry is almost breathing down your neck and the concept of personal space for growth simply doesn’t exist, it becomes a problem!! For instance, during the last month, we have had more guest lectures than actual lectures by our faculty, which is all very well, but when it becomes a repetitive jargon dump on tired students, then it’s not very likely that it would be a beneficial exercise. And of course, now that the pre-summer placement talks have kicked off, it isn’t exactly rocket science to figure out that we are actually trying to lure companies on campus by inviting some of the top corporate honchos for the sake of “guest lectures”… nothing wrong with that, especially when you need to place a batch of 200 unprepared students in a space of one month! But it does become a form of a circus when you force a bunch of overworked first year kids to dress up in sarees and blazers and sit for long sessions in the auditorium almost every day (sometimes twice a day) especially after 2 grueling FCQs. Hell, these days, I wear a saree more often that my mum does!
Obviously, this state of affairs is bound to burst the bubble! One such guest lecture (the guest happened to be prominent industry expert) found a majority of the batch sleeping peacefully and blatantly in the audi, while most of the others were busy working on their laptops, listening to music or just plain day dreaming…. Mind you, it wasn’t that the lecture was bad, it was just that we have had an overdose, and couldn’t take any more of that convoluted management speak! End result: the guest wasn’t exactly too thrilled with our batch (which may well mean no placements), 10 of the culprits had a dressing down from the director and as of now, the entire batch is grounded indefinitely! We are not allowed to go out of the campus, no night outs, diwali vacation stands cancelled and the worst part is that we don’t know how long this curfew is going to haunt us! The only way out of this mess seems to be to crowd into the library or the computer lab all at once, because we have nothing better to do!
It’s not that I am a crusader against guest lectures- I think they are an important part of business education, it’s great to have successful people from the industry and share their experiences and give us a first hand view of how the corporate world functions! And of course, some of the speakers have been really outstanding, it’s just that I don’t like the idea of packing our days with fancy jargons just before the summers: it seems a get-rich-quick tactic and it doesn’t give us enough time to really absorb the learning. Being bombarded with general gyaan about the “changing business environment” is a poor disguise for what really is a batch assessment exercise! I feel like a helpless Indian girl dressed impeccably in a saree, sitting and waiting demurely for a prospective groom! But of course, if it comes with 4 slices of pizza and a bottle of soft drink (like today), I am all for it….there is no such thing as a free lunch, but hell, listening to sophisticated VPs (even if they don’t make much sense) is a small price to pay!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Real vs Reel

Finally I have to lay my hands on the much-coveted book: “Snapshots from Hell”. But I am glad I waited till I was three months into my MBA- man, I identify with the lead character so much! Well, unlike Peter Robinson, I haven’t worked for the government (thank god for that), I am not a poet and of course, I am not in Stanford. But emotionally I can empathize with him: for instance we are both trying to survive a sadistic system, where our aim in life has become “not to flunk”, we are both zombies trying hard to make sense of what goes on during the long lectures, but in vain and both of us suffer from the Stockholm Syndrome: i.e. we blame ourselves for everything that goes wrong. As Prantosh Sir said in his final lecture- we should learn to forgive ourselves and move on from our failures. Hence, I should ideally blame our OR faculty (and not myself) when I start crying after every lecture (post-OR depression)
I can’t believe we are almost through our first sem: we are done with most of the lectures (rather, they are done with us), companies have started visiting the campus for pre-summer placement talks and there is a flurry of GLs. It seems like yesterday when we had our first Marketing lecture and we were awed by Prantosh Sir. 3 months later, he gave his final speech, moving us to tears. I haven’t done justice to his teaching in terms of my FCQs, but he has humbly portrayed marketing as a “beautiful subject”. Time to open that big fat Bible of marketing- as he fondly refers to it as “Reltok”!

Saturday, September 1, 2007


1. Thou shall sleep during lectures.
2. Thou shall curse Sweety Stores everyday, and yet buy stuff from it at exorbitant prices.
3. Thou shall not turn up for Vedanta lecture earlier than fifteen minutes before the end of lecture.
4. Thou shall be a “visionary” when it comes to FCQs, assignments and submissions.
5. Thou shall love (leer at) thy neighbour: SCIT/SIIB guys/ girls.
6. Thou shall not attempt to distinguish between different dishes in the mess.
7. Thou shall religiously contribute to the “SCMHRD Fine Collection” (read SCMHRD Extortion Fund) by breaking inane rules- dress code, mobile phones, OSHE lectures.
8. Thou shall not have more than 30% attendance for non-acads.
9. Thou shall (NOT) learn 4 foreign languages: French/ German/ Spanish/Chinese, Excel VBA, OR I, Statistics.
10. Thou shall have only one religion: PFAFFING and only one god: PRANTOSH!!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007


We celebrated Independence Day in great style in college, and why not? As our director put it, we have come a long way in the last 60 years! From a poverty stricken third world nation, today we are one of the fastest growing economies, commanding respect from all corners of the globe. And 25 years from now, we are going to lead the world: it’s some achievement, not withstanding the trials and tribulations of a democracy of one billion people!

True, we are no longer slaves of a foreign master , but are we really free? Free from our own inhibitions, our narrow limitations and our traditional thought process? We still have a long way to go in terms of independent ventures, entrepreneurship or just taking the road less traveled.

Being a part of the MBA fraternity, I consider myself privileged, and yet, I can’t help wondering if the MBA degree in our country has been reduced to a passport to the air-conditioned corporate offices! Today, most B-schools run the risk of being reduced to glorified placement agencies, with very little value addition to the students, but nobody is complaining because we barely look beyond the return on investment, purely in terms of capital…
Few of us have the courage to look beyond Campus Placements and follow our dreams! I have immense respect for one of our alumni, Prakash Mundra, who started his own business, but people like him are few and far between!
You do have the likes of Rashmi Bansal, the JAM lady, who followed her heart, Sarath Babu who set up his own catering services and the 4 young students who started their lingerie line, instead of giving in to the lucrative offers in the temptation island called IIMA. I know it’s not easy, but once you actually take the plunge, the rollercoaster ride is so much more fulfilling than selling soaps for a multinational! I have seen one of my friends, an IIT-IIM guy, give up a cushy international job to start his own venture; I have been lucky enough to share his frustrations and euphoria, but do I have the courage to follow my own dreams? Can I be free in the true sense of the term?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

GL: Guest Lecture or Good Lord!!

In the last few weeks we have been bombarded with a series of guest lectures (GLs)- three in this week itself, all bigshot corporate honchos or academicians from top institutes. I have never seen so many “allegedly” talented people, let alone seeing them all at once! It was quite an overwhelming experience, but thanks to the limited intelligence endowed to me, I wasn’t completely able to appreciate the quality of the talent paraded in front of me. As an unfortunate consequence, I ended up doing the following things:
a) Catching up on the much-needed sleep through a majority of the lectures (thanks to the darkness of the auditorium)
b) Cultivating my much-neglected hobbies: reading, listening to music and checking out the guys (all handsomely attired in the formal college uniform)
c) Fiddling around with my saree, clutching on to it for dear life
d) Slipping out of the audi through the back door!

Sometimes not being an engineer makes me wonder if I really missed out on the 8th wonder of the world: illegible equations, dynamic models and a whole lot fancy jargon!

However, the GL by the HUL Corporate Communications Head was quite inspiring, so much so that I actually stayed awake through most of the session. He was an articulate speaker and somehow managed to touch a chord especially when he spoke about HUL’s Shakti campaign. Shaktammas are definitely marketable but Shahrukh Khan in the Lux ad definitely isn’t. Gimme a break- I may be stupid, but I am not blind (I wear lenses)..
As a part of the Corporate Communications Cell of SCMHRD I got to interview the guy up close and personal! Well, being a member of CC is not ALL bad I guess.

But the GL that really made a deep impact was by Mohd Asif, a young guy from PwC who passed out from our college last year. It was more about sharing his life, his experiences, obstacles and overcoming those challenges.

Well, there are good GLs and there are bad GLs, but all I am asking for is “Save me from the really UGLY ones”!

Sunday, August 5, 2007


The Fresher’s Party concept may be an age old cliché, where the norm is usually loud music (of not-so-great quality), overcrowded dance floors and all-black, lesser-the-better dress-code... but this is one of the clichés that we never get tired of! Even at the ripe old age of 92 (at last I have caught up with Prantosh Banerjee, our super-awesome marketing prof), I still took the pain to dress myself up and look as hot as possible (believe me it was hard work!), danced till my legs were about to give in and tried to loosen up in order to keep up with the drunkards who completely let themselves go! The theme was “Pirates of the Caribbean”, and with a black eye patch and the to-hell-with-the-world attitude, we weren’t too bad!!

The juniors were supposed to ask out the seniors for the big night and the build-up to the Fresher’s was uncannily similar to our WAC cases-
a) Objective: Find HOT date for Fresher’s Party
b) Problem Statement:
1. Don’t know too many seniors
2. The good ones are already booked
c) Alternatives:
1. Network with seniors in the hostel begging them to introduce us to their most eligible friends
2. Scan the seniors’ profiles on orkut and eliminate the ones we do not fancy.
3. Hang around the cafeteria or Sweety Stores, eyes wondering desperately trying to spot somebody pleasant and not-so-weird (by now “HOT” is no longer the qualifying criteria: just “decent” will do)
4. Frenzied phone calls to strangers only to find out that they have already been booked)
5. Go back to elimination list (alternative 2) in sheer desperation and randomly choose people the night before D-day, only to get a smug reply, “I am sorry, but I am going with So-and-So”.
d) Implementation Plan: Go stag with your best friends and have the time of your life!

Even after all that jazz, the romance goes on…

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Social Pariah

I thought that I still have a decade before the Bridget Jones syndrome catches up with me. But I am afraid that it has already started taking its toll on me. For starters, here we have an average 10-hour schedule, 7 days a week along with weekly FCQs, unscheduled (and useless) batchmeets and presentations at short notice (this happens essentially when the faculty is not prepared for a lecture and they pass the buck to us by asking us to do a group assignment of 20 mins each which will safely see them through the agonizing 2 hours). All these leaves us with very little time for socializing and CL (campus loafing).

That’s bad news for my mom since she was fervently hoping that I would hook up with somebody! Worse, I have become so rude that when my friends come online, I don’t reply to their messages, mostly because I am busy doing some last minute project with the help of Mr Google. My family and relatives have stopped calling me since I don’t pick up the calls (cell phones are not allowed in the academic block where we spend a major part of the day) and I am too broke (thanks to laundry charges, fine payment for bunking lectures, Sweety Stores, and the Luxury Coffee shop) to call them back (no matter what Shahrukh Khan says, Airtel is still expensive)!

I don’t know what education MBA is imparting to me, but it’s definitely eroding whatever little social skills I possessed (I admit that it’s not one of my strengths).
So, once in a while when we do manage to get away, we behave like chained prisoners who are suddenly exposed to civilization.

However, I am starting to appreciate the little things in life which I used to take for granted- new clothes, surprise courier packages from home (alas, I no longer shop during monsoon sales), the joy of catching a movie in the small screen of our auditorium (multiplexes are no longer a part of my life), desserts at the nearby posh restaurant (long live student discounts) and yes, the occasional glimpse at the gossip pages of TOI in the library (newspaper/ news channels are a luxury)!


Saturday, July 14, 2007


The terror of FCQ has caught on and I feel completely victimized. 18 subjects, you can have tests in any of them! That is not my idea of an ideal Saturday morning. Invariably we end up taking some “calculated risks” and invariably they don’t pay off. Like today, most of us ignored Research Methodology and we had a paper on that! I had no clue what to write, chewed my pen for 30 mins and royally gave up. Of course, it doesn’t make much of a difference since our entire room was dismissed for indiscipline and our papers were SCRAPPED!. Not that I would have scored more if we were evaluated fairly! The second quiz was French, and it was ridiculously funny. I was racking my brains on French verbs when the invigilator walked up to me and said that my paper will be SCRAPPED. I had no clue about the reason- I just thought that it’s her habit to say “your paper will be SCRAPPED” every ten minutes! But when she told me it was because I was wearing a sleeveless kurta, I felt like bursting into laughter! So our CGPA is also a function of the dress code. I had to feed her up with a pack of lies about my sorry wardrobe, about the dhobi not returning my clothes, about me wearing the same dress for 3 days. At last she bought it and let me off this time. Even if I get a good percentage, the relative grading really screws things up! In other words I have started wondering whether I made the right career choice and if MBA is indeed my cup of tea!
As a part of Corporate Communications, I finally get to do a lot of stuff that I love to do and don’t really mind the hard work, the long meetings, bad tempered seniors or deadlines… in fact it gives me an excuse to stay awake in boring lectures and write something constructive. But yesterday, we had our first encounter with the director and it far from pleasant- let’s just say he handed me the most humiliating moment of my life. But the seniors seemed so immuned to it, and apparently he was quite decent to us! I don’t think I am ready to go anywhere near to his office in the near future. But one thing is for sure, if I survive his abuses, I can safely survive any number of irritable bosses!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Human Face of Business

In the last couple of days we have had the two most inspiring lectures since I stepped in scmhrd- the first one was our Vedanta lecture at 7:15 am and the other was one marketing lecture by Mr Banerjee, both of which moved me to tears for very different reasons!
I know I have cribbed about scmhrd’s sadistic schedule and one very prominent example was the weekly Vedanta lecture on Monday morning which usually invites a generous dose of abuses from the students- half of us bunk it or come late, while the other half sleeps during the lecture; but if you forget the initial agony of waking up at an ungodly hour, it can be a really enriching experience. We have an Australian guy ( a young lawyer) as our mentor, and he is simply amazing- I know when you speak of spirituality and Vedanta, we have a tendency to stereotype and we end up visualizing some boring old guy with a holier-than-thou attitude looking down on us and making us feel like losers or sinners, just because we happen to make more money than he does! But this guy is somebody with whom we can relate to, who gives us a balanced view of things without getting judgmental and he actually encourages us to imbibe spirituality as a way of life rather than something very esoteric or austere! He is somebody who has seen both sides of the coin, and embraced spirituality as a matter of choice rather than compulsion. He talks about his own experiences, about the white man’s perspective when he is traveling in Indian local trains, about his life in an ashram in the remote corner of Maharashtra as opposed to the monotonous comfort back home- all of it in a practical, down-to-earth manner with no complaints, no grudge and endowed with generous doses of humour: a firang in a white kurta, successful yet humble, modern yet supremely in touch with the roots of humanity, a spiritual guru who laughs at himself is indeed a rare combination!!!! I learnt more about management in that one hour than I have learnt in the past 4 weeks!!
The other lecture which touched a chord with the students was todays Marketing Management class where the faculty was teaching about how consumption is shaped by family lifecycle! I have always found marketing a somewhat intimidating subject which gives a damn about people- it’s a field which requires charismatic, aggressive people who are not easily swayed by emotions, who can push their product hard, make a mincemeat of their competitors and eat into the consumer’s pocket with scant regard for their feelings- once the sale is done, they move on the next “target”. Well, in the past month, Mr Banerjee had changed a lot of my half-baked, ill-informed ideas, but today he made Marketing sound like psychology!! He explained the family life cycle in lay man’s terms taking the example of a young couple and tracing their lives right from the time they started going around with each other till one of them died- it was just another middleclass family and somehow in between he sneaked in the changes in their consumer patterns and how marketing people keep a track of the changes in their lives and target their products accordingly- gosh, who knew psychology could play such a vital part in selling stationary and toothpaste… at the end of the 2 hours we were sitting like zombies, sombre and quiet feeling guilty about taking our parents for granted, and at the same time visualizing our near future as we shall all experience those stages of life! One guy actually declared that he was going to call his parents today itself! It was one lecture that I shall remember throughout my life- one of the very few lectures that I actually cried (and not out of fear or boredom). Talk about marketing- that man can sell his ideas, and the best part is the Big Idea is all about being a better person, and not a hardcore competitive executive!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Milap 2007

Somehow I have survived one month in a B-school, and last Saturday, for the first time, we had something which could actually qualify as “FUN”!!! For starters, the dress code was “strictly party wear”, a welcome break from the regular monotony of the 3-piece salwar suits! After all, it was Milap 2007, the traditional programme where we juniors welcome our seniors who are back in campus after working so hard for their Summers (here I am reserving my judgments). It works something like this: we slog ourselves till the early hours of morning practicing our dance routines, skits n honing our singing talents in spite of a deadly schedule, rains and annoying foundation exams, take the trouble to extend an artistically created invitations and the seniors turn up fashionably late in their pyjamas, and then ruthlessly boo our performances….
It was a bad start as we faced technical glitches and those boorish idiots (some of them dressed up as ridiculous clowns) started chanting not-so-kind slogans! However the rest of the show went off quite smoothly, with stellar performances from the singing group and the dance troups which really involved the crowd. At some point most of the crowd was up on the stage and somewhat turned a classic performance into a roadshow!! But it was a rare occasion when we lost all our inhibitions and let our hair down. The day finally ended at midnight, all in good humour, but the fun was just beginning! A few people went to the nearby restaurant for a few pegs which turned into a few more and eventually ended in some drunken revelry with some interference from the local police. The fun in the campus was not far behind as we got drenched in the rain while “dancing in the dark” with a few seniors throwing dustbins from their rooms upstairs! Finally we girls were sitting in a group at 1 am in the morning chatting and mourning the absence of hot guys, while our sweet brothers in the boys hostel called up, and started singing “Summer of 69” and “Hotel California” as we rocked on the not-so-melodious but amazingly sweet music bellowing from the mobile loudspeaker.
We ended the day, tired but happy, and all geared up for Aarambh next week!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Snapshots from hell, and a few peeks into heaven

So this is my 4th week at scmhrd n so far it’s been a rollercoaster ride!! So here is a look at the highlights- apart from the regular complaints- gym at 6 am, heaps of assignments, presentations, exams, lack of sleep, bad food, dress code, bossing seniors…I can go on and on!!

The Anti Seema Aunty Club: Ok, this is really annoying, but somehow i am a sucker for creativity even if it's not too flattering for me... firstly, my batchmates and faculty make a mess of my name (as expected) n call me Simanti (and not Shimonti), then one resourceful group member decided to change it to Seema Aunty. Now i hv a developed a bad reputation for being a foul mouthed, psychotic, bad tempered girl and they actually gone ahead with an anti-seema aunty club, and the membership is building up fast.
Food or Sleep- take your pick: I have heard a lot of gyaan about Maslow’s pyramid which says that your need are in a hierarchy where the base of the pyramid consists of your physiological needs- food, clothing, sleep… while success and respect come higher up in the order. But I think this college has neglected our physiological needs completely and directly trying to satisfy a higher need! Yesterday, for instance, I was so tired after the morning lecture, I found it hard to keep my eyes open during the MM class even though it was taken by my fav prof, Mr Banerjee! Somehow I escaped without being sent off “to wash my face”, and during lunch break I headed straight to my room to steal an hour’s sleep n gave up my lunch!! So now the trade off is between food and sleep. It seems like MBA cant even satisfy my basic needs, forget about a good lifestyle…

Cake Fund: Almost everyday we seem to be celebrating somebody’s birthday…. N everyday we end up passing around money to the guy who has taken up the responsibility to arrange for the b’day cake…now he has come up with a very innovative idea that we should all contribute Rs 100 to the “cake fund” which will cater to all our b’day needs!! Talk about a business idea… well just in case he manages to flunk his MBA or get chucked out of scmhrd (both options seem very likely to me now) he can always think about developing his business plan…

Bharatnatyam in a track suit: well I always knew I was a Phd in making a fool of myself, but this was one of the best illustrations. We were celebrating a b’day party at our only disc these days (Sweety stores, the extremely profitable retail outlet on campus) and since the cake was delayed, we were amusing ourselves n letting out the artist in us. I was lounging around in a tracksuit so when they dragged me into the middle and started singing a random hindi song, all I could do was a few steps of b’natyam and a couple of typical hindi movie jhatkas- my 15 seconds of ridicule!!!

Sell Anything to Anybody: How do you sell condoms to a girl and sanitary napkins to a guy???? What the hell, you ask yourself? Well if you a part of Scmhrd, these are a few answers you can be ready with! Well my question is simpler- how the hell do you sell anything to anybody??? I have no clue; I can’t even sell myself, let alone a product. I think I need serious help as far as marketing is concerned.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Education kills!!!

If I thought last week was bad, well, I will soon be running out of adjectives within the next few days!!! This week we had our dratted FC exams, and for the first time in my life I actually “finished” a one and a half hour paper in 15 mins… simply bcz I had no idea what to write!!! It’s like I came, I saw and I surrendered. The name of the subject is “Principle of management” and if I manage to score in double digits (out of 50) I would consider myself lucky. My only consolation is most of the classmates seem to be in the same boat as me but there are bound to be a few losers who will score 40 and then make us feel worthless!!!
We have 18 subjects in the first semester, and I can’t even name all of them, let alone know about them. Even some sensible profs (a rare breed) think it’s ridiculous, but since we are in D company we live with it! But one thing I got to admit that most of our faculty, especially the visiting faculty are top notch!! We have 3 IIT-IIM guys, and they really restore some faith in you that our higher education does produce some brilliant people. But my favourite has to be our Marketing professor, and I am not saying this just because he happens to be a Bong… I adore him, not because the way he teaches, not because he is suave and sophisticated, not even because he has a great sense of humour, but because the man is so humble: that is indeed a mark of greatness!!! He has a shining career, but he didn’t even introduce himself or his alma mater and even when we asked him, he just avoided the topic (I had to go online to find out about him). He makes us think simply, and says that he has all the deficiencies of human nature, that he knows nothing, but when he teaches us Kotler, we know what he is made up of! But in class he is very firm in his expectations from us, and his sarcasm can actually make you look down and wish there was a hole through which you could disappear! He is the classic example of the difference between humility and diffidence… you can be humble and yet let your work do the talking and in today’s world when people will promise the moon to get ahead in life and then go back on their word, he is a refreshing change. I have heard some seniors describe him as God; since I am an atheist, I will stay away from that club, but to me, he exemplifies the “Better Man”, and not Robbie Williams (no matter how hot he is)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

J'aime e'eclire (I like to write).. I hope so!!

Je m’appelle Shimonti
It means My Name is Shimonti in French…. Had my first French lecture yesterday. I had never done it before unlike most of the other students, so learning a new language at this ripe old age is a big thrill. And probably after a million years I again got to write (and sing) the ABCD song as well as numbers from 1 to 20…. It was quite an experience. Now we had a choice between French, German, Spanish and Chinese. While only one person (now she has become the most admired person in the batch) dared to take up Chinese, most of the other people like me who had no background in Foreign languages took up Spanish as it was the easiest to scrape through in exams. I still decided to take up French, not for valid reasons like it’s a romantic and beautiful language, or that it’s very widely used, but b’coz I loved my room mate’s reasoning- we all dream of a dream honeymoon in Paris and it is then when our knowledge will come in handy. Or it will be really romantic to propose somebody in French. That ways, he might not understand what I am talking about, and I can always say he misunderstood if he happened to turn me down!!!
We also had a Vedanta session at 7 am. Now the guy who came to lecture was a really good speaker (and really young; you usually don’t subscribe that much wisdom and spirituality to such young people) but somehow most of the speakers fell asleep. Spirituality and Sleep isn’t a very good combination. But he did raise some valid points about life, about ambitions, about happiness, about satisfaction. I know we were all here working ourselves to death for a cushy job and material comforts but at the end of the day, we would be fooling ourselves if we thought it could lead us to peace. Happiness is a matter of choice and I choose to be happy in spite of four hours of sleep, in spite of boring lectures that simply goes way above my head (the other people seem pretty okkk, it must be only me), in spite of the looming foundation exams which I am sure to flunk.
Bon Jour
Right now my French vocab is very limited… will come back with more next week!!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Phew- what a week!!!!

If you ask me about my first week at a B-school (specifically SCMHRD), you are likely 2 get the same answer if you ask a juvenile delinquent who is serving his sentence in a prison....
Anyways after the induction on Saturday, we had the Outbound Learning (OBL) on Sunday. We were taken to a place called Lekha Farm and spent the entire day there. We were divided into a few groups and we had games, competitions, activities (including rope climbing) and an interview session where we got to knw each other betr. for the first time, we actually felt we were part of the same planet (all be it a concentration camp) instead of aliens. I was part of a group called Spartans and in spite of most of us being small, we performed really well. This OBL was designed to improve our co-ordination, communication, team skills- i dnt knw whether these objectives were fulfilled, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself!
The bad things started from Monday. Typically we would wake up at 5:30 am, drag ourselves to the gym, come back to steal a few winks of sleep, get late in the process, fight as to who gets to use the bathroom first, grab some breakfast, rush to attend the 9 am lecture (and more importantly the attendance), bore ourselves to death for 8 hrs- this week, the most frequently used words have been: assignments, presentations, class participation, credits- none of which i particularly like!!! Here they call it a "learning institute" and teachers are there to facilitate learning, and not merely teach. I love the concept, but the implementation is taking a toll on me. Apparently, you have to come prepared for a lecture even BEFORE the topic has been discussed in class. Now I come from a typical graduate college (a great college), where the concept of "preparation" (befor or after) a lecture simply did not exist. I mugged up notes and xeroxes one week before the exams n that was enuf to fetch me a University rank... N suddenly at the ripe old age, I am expected to study!!!
Anyways the highlight of the week was that I bunked our dear old subbu (the director himself) sir's lecture and got caught... well am a bit rusty after a 2 yr break 4m college, but m sure by the end of the semester i will get back my old touch!! got blasted for my "atrocious behaviour", didnt get attendance and have been threatened that I could be called to the Director's office soon... not really looking forward to that. Neither am I lookin forward to next week when we are going 2 have a string of exams and presentations- not a great start, but I'm enjoying the bitter sweet (mostly bitter) experience!!!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Induction at SCMHRD

Had my induction on 2nd June, 2007. This was the first time the entire batch was coming together for the first time… I was hoping to meet some nice guys… come on, ever since I stepped into Scmhrd, I was packed off to the girls’ hostel I had spent most of my time either with parents or with girls; now it was getting on my nerves!
Anyways, since we were supposed to wear sarees for the Induction, I decided it was prudent to start getting ready early in the morning, because I never prided on my saree-wearing skills. But it wasn’t too big a deal as my mom was there to all the hard work, not just for me, but for my room mates as well! Sometimes, I think this world can’t get along without my mother, or anybody else’s mother for that matter. I wore the SCMHRD uniform that was handed to us on reporting, and I DID NOT LIKE IT!!!! I looked old and aunty like (no offence to aunties, but am not ready to be one just as yet). What followed for the next eight hours can be described in one word: PAIN!!!!
First of all, all my hopes of getting to know “nice guys” were dashed, as most of us were sitting with parents, and treated each other like aliens from another planet. The ceremony started off on a positive note with a presentation on the symbiosis family- its genesis, its journey through the years and all the colleges under its ambit. It was quite amazing what one man (in this case, Dr S B Mujumdar) can do if he has the vision and of course, the courage. Then there was a speech from Dr Mujumdar himself and I really liked him: simple, soft spoken, humble and with no airs of graces. It was followed by a LONG speech by our chief guest, Jagdish Khattar, the MD of Maruti. Well, I hadn’t heard of him till a year back- my GK used to be pathetic, but a few months before the entrance exams, I mugged up the names of 200 CEOs and Mr Khattar was just one of them. But seeing him in person, was kind of well, exciting! Surprisingly, unlike most chief executives, whatever he spoke, did make a lot of sense (though he wasn’t exactly a great speaker), and I was surprised that I didn’t fall asleep…. Gosh, I must be growing up!
The final speech was by our Director, Mr Subramanium (popularly known as Subbu Sir). He made it amply clear that there is going to no love lost, that he was going to be a major pain and that the chief aim of his life was to inflict as much stress as possible. But thankfully, he didn’t resort to abuses (as he had allegedly done last year), so there weren’t any shocked parents.
My parents left after the induction, and no matter how much I profess to hate them on their face, I was kind of sad as also deeply grateful for so many reasons…
The post lunch session was exclusively for students and we had the best speech delivered by Col Mohan- it was humorous, it was depressing and interspersed with warnings, admonitions and a LONG list of “what not to do at SCMHRD”. We also had a nice session about the Symbiosis Health Centre. The good news is that all of us are insured which means that we can actually get drunk, drive at a fast rate, get injured (within limits), get spoilt in the health centre, miss college and not pay a penny. The bad news is that it only starts after 5th June. So I have to behave myself for the next few days.
Thereafter we had our measurements taken, a photoshoot and were handed over the college T-shirts and tracksuits. Of course, after walking around in high heels and stumbling over the stairs, getting tangled up in the saree, I could barely walk….
But when I spoke to one of the seniors, he unsympathetically dismissed it as “welcome to SCMHRD; your pain begins here”.
Well, our aim, as appropriately articulated by Col Mohan, is to get out of this place as soon as possible with not too many broken bones. 686 more days to go!!! Till then, I am in bad company, the D Company.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

1st day at SCMHRD!!

Well, it was one of the most eagerly awaited days of my life, and now it's past me... my first day at what most people would describe as the central jail of Pune!!
I reached the city yesterday morning and on reporting, I was handed over the welcome brochure, my schedule, a rose and yeah, the much hated saree! After making arrangements for my parents in the guest house I allocated to my new hsotel room- it was a spacious 3 seater, with a bed, a pillow, a table, a cupboard for each of us as well as an attached bathroom... i had stayed in a couple of hostels in Bombay and this is my fifth year of hostel life, and compared to what I was used to, this was HEAVEN!!!
Well first day was pretty chilled out, i showed my parents round the campus, opened the account at SBI, applied for a new mobile connection, got acquainted with my two room mates. In the evening went to Pune city where my mother went berserk for 2 hours as she behaved like a teenaged shopaholic (worse than me, and I am tough competition)
Well, the campus itself was pretty amazing- it was completely self sufficient: from a health centre, a well equiped gym, yoga centre, swimming pool, basketball court, TT board, a general store, cafeteria, juice bar, mess and photocopy centre- there was indeed no need to go out. However in case we felt like some contact with civilisation (come on, we do need to visit a bar, or smoke, or watch timepass movies unlike the highbrow stuff showed in the auditorium, or just get away...) there were college buses in the campus which will take us to the city!
It was kind of a dream come true- I had always wanted the feeling of being on campus: it makes your education complete in diferent aspects and also the experience is enriching... well I guess I will come out from my girlish notions pretty soon, but until then, let me just sit back and enjoy the symbiosis experience!!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

New York Minute

It’s my last night in Mumbai… a journey of 5 years comes to an end, just like that, quicker than a New York minute. Outside its raining cats and dogs: at least it gives me an opportunity to flatter myself that it’s nature’s way of mourning my departure!
I still remember the day I stepped into the city, five years back, like any other starry eyed teenager- for somebody whose world was confined by a few narrow parameters, Bombay was the city of dreams- it represented everything that I dreamed of, everything that had eluded me, everything that defined perfection! Yeah, I was just another naïve young girl who still retained the innocence to build castles in the air and who still wasn’t a victim of cynicism. But all that was about to change, and how fast!!
This city has given me a lot, but hey it’s not called the financial capital of India for nothing- whatever it has given, it has also taken back with a hefty interest. I came here for a college degree, but I got more than what I had bargained for: an education! It provided me with a source of sustenance, a sense of self, and most importantly, the gift of freedom. I may have got ticked off by my teachers or my seniors at work, but I lived on my own terms; It wasn’t a great living, but at least it was MY life. It gave me the courage to say “No”, but a heart to say “Yes”, it taught me to appreciate the little things in life, for the first time I realized how much sacrifice my parents made for me and how rarely I acknowledged their contribution, for the first time I met people from all walks of life instead of middle class, Bengali children who went to the same school, studied the same subjects and wanted the same things as I did, and for the first time I fell in love- with myself! The city has taken its toll on me: the pangs of loneliness, the fast life, the very sight of crowded local trains, the exorbitant prices and the roadside paanipuri (don’t get me wrong, but it can never give the puchka a run for its money) sometimes made me wish I could run away!
Well here I am, walking away, at least for the time being… but Bombay is special and this is where I want to be… forever!
PS: I just saw “Life in a Metro”… it’s a must watch! Only regret, Anurag Basu could have offered me the role of any extra- I would have gladly sat on Churchgate station with a bowl… what’s the use of being a Bengali? Rahul Bose is now my only hope!!

Monday, May 28, 2007

28th May

28th May 2005
fatal interview
500 smses
"cat's in the cradle"
French Open Final
Horror Movies
It all ends here... as I embark upon a new journey!!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Quarter-life crisis... the worst is yet to come!!

Am on “vacation” for a month in my hometown Kolkata… but honestly, if you are a girl who has no feminine skills, ie cooking, darning, wearing a saree, you can get in trouble with my mother…
First of all, she is horrified that I subscribe to a website (and if I dare add, actively participate) called, then she resents the fact that I take more pleasure in bumping our car and discussing the world cup with my dad rather than prepare a delicious meal or dress myself up in her beautiful (I beg to differ) sarees. Then she doesn’t understand how the hell I manage to have pure, platonic friendships with guys and yet not get seriously involved with anybody… (at this rate she will be questioning my sexual orientation in a few years). Finally she gets paranoid every time she receives a wedding invitation, and wails that her poor daughter will die an old maid!!!
Fast forward to 10 years hence… am going to end up as a cross between Bridget Jones, Rachael Green and Ally Mcbeal!!! Most likely that I will be working ten hours a day in some shitty multinational where I shall have a computer, and no social life (orkut doesn’t qualify as “life” even though it’s social), I will live in a dump called “house” in an overcrowded city, weekends will be spent in cleaning up that dump, sitting in front of the TV watching the umpteenth repeat telecast of FRIENDS, cribbing about how I don’t have a life, where a romantic dinner consists of ordered pizza (late hai to free hai, balle balle) with my pet dog, and crying over mushy chicklit. Once in a while I will get together with my girlfriends to crib about my life (or the lack of it) and listen to the “smug-marrieds’ crib about their husbands. Once in a blue moon (usually after I am on the point of bursting after Diwali or Christmas), I will hit the gym full of good intentions. Even rarely, I am going to go on disastrous blind dates with boring, stuffy, fat men and return home drunk & dissatisfied. Too bad? naah: you see there’s another way of looking at it- I am going to be a 21st century, liberated, modern woman who can enjoy her freedom, irrespective of whether she wants it or not! Whether you are Tulsi or Bridget, you are going to end up at the same destination, ie Edge of Reason, all be it via different routes!

But who cares, it’s the time to party NOW!

Friday, May 4, 2007

I Came, I Saw, I Resigned…

With most B-schools coming out with their final results, it’s a bad time for organizations, IT companies in particular, as the number of resignations is directly proportional to the number of waitlists cleared in management institutes!! “I am putting in my papers” is replacing “Sir I will try my best” as the new senior-subordinate interaction. As the HR departments across industries struggle with issuing relieving letters, experience certificates, and PF clearances, the soon-to-be-MBAs spend their last working day (and the most happiest day of their career so far) trying to draft out the perfectly clichéd goodbye mail, which goes something like this…

Sub: Goodbye!!!

Dear All,
Today is my last day at XYZ organization… The last one and a half years (most common: that is when the frustration sets in) has been a memorable journey, and I am very thankful to a lot of people for all the help and support extended to me during this short but significant tenure. This was one of the most difficult decisions in my life and “goodbye” is the last the thing I would like to say. But today as I step out to pursue better opportunities I shall forever cherish the wonderful memories I have experienced in this organization.
Please do keep in touch. My personal email id is :….

Now recruiters and bosses, stop reading. Others, scroll down to see what it really means!!

Sub: Finally am out of this goddamned place… (yesssssss!!!!!!!)

Hated All (Especially my boss and HR dept)
Today is my last day as a software coolie in this Hellhole called XYZ organization.
At last I have the opportunity to quit this boring, unchallenging, poorly paid job (euphemism for coding) with a mean, slave-driver of a boss who takes credit for all the good work I do and blames me for all the screwing up that he does; a sad, unhealthy organisation with poor policies and even worse politics, where true talent is not recognized (especially mine) and equally unfair colleagues, who get all the exercise they need by pushing their luck, passing the buck and going behind people’s back. The last year and a half has been a painful and traumatizing journey and I shall have recurring nightmares, at least for the next few years.
Today, at last as I walk out of this office forever, I have finally found my freedom and my peace of mind. Please don’t keep in touch or I shall go to the police for harassment and stalking!!!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

World Cup 2007: An anticlimax!

Well it's all over: the much-awaited Carribbean Crusade and it turned out to be a pretty bland and unprofitable affair- so much for all the hype. Apart from a few sparks of brilliance from B'desh and Ireland, there wasn't much to talk about (except perhaps the murder of Bob Woolmer): no nail biting finish, no match which went right down to the wire, even the semis and the final were pretty much onesided. of course, with India and Pakistan not even making it to the super eight, cricket world cup was no longer a religious festival... even i was pretty much an aetheist this time around. What with the match fixing scandal raising its ugly head once more, the super commercialisation of the game and the Woolmer tragedy, cricket has lost its sanctity!
It's a pity that teo of my fav sports (cricket n tennis) are fast becoming a one man show: as australia bulldozed its way to a record third consecutive WC victory, it has now become unparalleled in the game (never mind its losing streak prior to the event- when the going gets tough, the tough gets going), and of course, Roger Federer is invincible... am so bored to death!!
Having said that, WC 2011 will hold the same interest!! We have a poor memory, and Team India does its best to remind us time and again!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Lessons from the saga of management entrance exams

Doing my masters in Business Administration had been an ambition I had cherished since my school days: not particularly bcz I wanted to be a businesswoman or bcz I wanted to make pots of money (though of course, the money would come really handy to help me graduate from Fashion Street to Shopper’s Stop) but simply bcz I wanted to, bcz I enjoyed the so-called “aptitude tests” and lets be hnest, bcz of the glamour attached to the profession (n the promise of intelligent men… but of course, am wiser now: that species doesn’t exist, at least not in the world I live in)
Now after 3 years of preparation, two attempts at CAT, I hv come to the conclusion, that management entrance exams are NOT about your aptitude at all!!!

Lessons from Written Exams:
1. If you think u are good in one section, be prepare to be royally screwed in it. Being an economics graduate, maths was my weakest section and English my strongest… Hell I read a lot, I scored over 90 percentile in VA in all the 30 odd mocks I took n never missed the VA cutoff, n it was the saving grace in all the mocks I wrote. So was counting on it very much. Lo and behold, come CAT 06, me stuck with a measly 80 percentile in VA!! Bigger shock in XAT 07- 98%tile overall, but only 84 in VA; so no call from XLRI! Now XAT maths is normally very tough esp for ppl like me who are not exactly comfy with higher maths, and I ended up scoring 95 in QA!!! Gross misjudgment of “aptitude”.
Anyways, if you think you r good in certain areas, n u have a proven track record, then trust your judgment even though the entrance exams results might paint a different story…
If you think you hv done well, think again. Invariably other ppl end up doing betr than you, n u end up with a measly percentile score. On the other hand, if you think you hv royally screwed up, then rejoice n fill up the forms of best colleges…
2. Dnt take 2 entrance exams in a day! The dates invariably clash, n you end up messing up both. So dnt be too greedy, n prioritise…
3. All that crap about mngment exams being a test of your “inherent skills” is bunkum! The more you practise, the better you get at it, like sex… or else, ppl wudnt hv needed multiple attempts to crack CAT… so much for getting your “aptitude” right!!

Lessons from GD/ PI:
1. It’s tougher than written exams
In many cases, multiple calls can lead to multiple rejects (my case)… so no room for complacency…
2. Good communication skills (read good accent and fluency) doesn’t automatically guarantee u an upper hand…
3. Looking good can be an advantage in some cases (and a disadvantage in others)
4. Coming from a disadvantaged background can be useful in certain socially conscious institutes…
5. Being a girl can be an advantage especially in the sex-starved male dominated battle zone…
A non technical background helps to make an instant differentiation

PS: In spite of being a presentable, nontechnical arts graduate with good communication skills and a good profile (and a girl) I managed to screw up most of my GD/PIs… so all said and done, nobody knows what they are looking for…

At the end of the day, for most B-schools, you are just a statistic: a weighted average of your written exam score, your performance in your GD/PI, your “past academic record” and your work expererience- no points for being a good manager in your daily life, or a responsible, accountable, honest, compassionate, intelligent person. Can’t blame them, it’s a demand-supply mismatch and there isn’t enough time to look at your application from a humane perspective. To be fair, they have the amazing talent of picking up some of the brightest people in spite of a handicapped procedure and resource crunch- so we live with it!

Now comes the most important lesson… the lessons which will serve through my life; not the formulae I mugged up for written exams, not the editorials which I swallowed without proper understanding, not even the Wikipidea articles I read stealing office resources (time, internet, stationary to write it down…)
The lesson to keep my focus, to be disciplined for a long stretch of one year, the determination and the strength to go on even when I was this close to giving up, the courage to say “No” when I was dying to do the opposite, the perseverance to put in my best effort to see my dream come true- this was the real lesson; Preparing for management entrance exams wasn’t just about cracking 10th std sums (thousands of them), or reading through pages of RC passages, or solving puzzles and banging my head over long DI charts; it was more about a test of character, a test of patience and a constant urge to push myself to the brink- it was about nurturing my dream!! And in the process I have become a better person, more matured, more aware, more accountable, stronger and most of all, more honest with myself!! And of course, it gave me the opportunity to interact with some awesome people, some amazing minds and some deep introspection: these are the real lessons that I will take with me after this experience of management entrance exams!!

IIM Results Out!!

Finally after months of speculation the quota cauldron has been temporarily put on hold and the IIMs came out with their merit list! As I surfed through Pagalguy i came across LIFE... with its shades of grey!! Ecstatic people, who after months (in most cases years) of hard work, finally made it, people recounting their past disappointments in previous attempts and their sheer joy after being rewarded at last, mixed feelings for people waitlisted n heartbreak for those who couldnt make it... it was all there, in front of my eyes. I was happy for some of the regular Puys who did get through, was amazed at the rejection of some of the most brilliant minds and one particular Mr Prem Ravi, a 30 year old who recently had a baby girl, who had only one call (IIMA), who was an inspiration for me n many others, who was a living example that if you want something bad enough, you will find a way out, no matter what the obstacles. I haven't met him, nor do I know how his GD/PI went, but I believe that nobody deserved it more than he did: his struggle has touched a chord with anybody who still has some humanity left in him/her!! I don't know why he was rejected but for once, even I, who is so passionately against the quota regime, just for one tiny moment, wished that the OBC quota will come through, just to make room for him! But the next moment I regained my sanity: his not being there, is a loss to IIMA!!!
I have deep respect for the IIMs as an institute, but I can't say the same for their selection criteria. Having said that, it had been my dream to be a part of it, ever since I was fifteen! I have grown up in Calcutta, and after a few visits to the IIMC Campus, some stories about the faculty by my father, some experiences narrated by a friend, I fell in love with it!! Now it hit me that I will probably never be a part of it and it did bring a few tears...I almost felt that may be I should take one more shot at CAT, but thankfully I grew up real fast!! IIMs are not the end of the world, I know I am good (and humble...) and I will be happy! and of course, SCMHRD is an amazing institute and am deeply grateful that I am going to be part of it for the next two years...
So... here goes... life is an open road... let the engines roll

Friday, April 27, 2007

Its my Life!!!

My very own blog!!! cant believe it... after reading a host of blogs n wishing i had something similar to give vent to my frustrations, my trials and tribulations; well here i am... in spite of being a technologically challenged person.
So the journey begins... ANOTHER BRICK ON THE WALL!!!